EPA might not be able to overregulate traditional energy sources out of existence after all. Renewable energy is therefore imperiled again.

Would you believe it? North Carolina’s renewable energy industry, which regularly boasts its amazing strength while at the same time warning how it’s one unfavorable government decision away from utter annihilation, is on the brink again, thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling today against the EPA.

The Triangle’s business-needs-subsidies journal reports:

But [Jonas] Monast [director of the climate and energy program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions] says the future impact [of the ruling] could be significant because the base will affect how federal agencies engage in the next round of rule making.

That’s the fear of Environment North Carolina Director Dave Rogers, who says he views the decision as “a step back” when it comes to the federal government’s ability to protect public health.

“Given the number of coal-burning power plants in North Carolina, we should be doing everything we can to guard against mercury, which has caused thousands of deaths and birth defects over the years,” Rogers says.

He says limiting the EPA’s ability to issue rules on fossil fuel power plants could also hurt the progress renewable energy has attained in North Carolina in recent years. “Part of the success of the renewable energy sector in North Carolina can be attributed to the fact that it filled the space created by the tighter regulations on fossil fuels at the same time the cost of solar energy was going down,” Rogers says.

All those subsidies, an involuntary customer base forced to buy an increasing proportion of your necessarily more expensive product, and renewable energy still can’t compete unless it a federal agency is allowed the unfettered ability to put cheaper, more reliable traditional energy sources out of business through overregulation?

Why are we forcing this unsustainable energy source on people again? It’s even worse for the environment, thanks to its own self-defeating shortcomings:

energy costs brookings

Jon Sanders / Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...